Scientists Transferred Memories From One Snail to Another

The snails remembered something that had never happened to them.

Scientists transferred memories from one snail to another. (Wikipedia)

In a new paper published in the journal eNeuro, scientists at the University of California Los Angeles describe an experiment where they transferred molecules from the brain cells of trained snails to untrained snails, and the animals behaved as if they remembered the trained snails’ experiences. This means that scientists transferred memories from one living thing to another. David Glanzman, a professor of neurobiology at U.C.L.A. who is an author of the new paper, has been studying a type of sea snail and its abilities to make memories for years.

The researchers extracted RNA, which is best known for ferrying messages between the genome and the rest of the cell, from the brain cells of trained snails and injected it into new snails. The team’s findings are a long way from being applied to people, but Glanzman hopes others will try to replicate the experiments with other animals, reports The New York Times. He thinks the experiments could help us someday understand how RNA and genetic tags on DNA could be involved in memory.

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